New York court allows ‘Apprentice’ contestant to sue Donald Trump

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The New York State Court of Appeals shuts down Trump’s attempt to block a defamation lawsuit by a former contestant on The Apprentice.

During his 2016 campaign, Summer Zervos accused Trump of unwanted sexual contact between 2007 and 2008 — forcefully groping and kissing her once in his office in Manhattan and another time at a hotel in Los Angeles. Trump said that she and other accusers were lying.

Zervos filed a defamation lawsuit in 2017. Trump has filed multiple appeals since then, arguing that a sitting president cannot be sued. Today’s State Court of Appeals decision was his third and final chance to block the defamation case. At no point has a court agreed the case can’t be brought against a sitting president — and now Trump isn’t one.

The trial court ruled against him, the appellate division ruled against him and as it was pending here, he left office, so the issue disappeared.

Gary Spencer, speaking on behalf of the court

Donald Trump might be deposed for the first time since becoming president. If that’s the case, he may also be asked to testify about his responses to other accusers.

“There are many other similar allegations made against former President Trump and his responses to them would appropriately be the subject of questioning,” said Kevin Mintzer, a lawyer who has represented several women in sexual misconduct cases. “I would expect he’s going to have to answer those questions.”

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Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty via The Daily Beast

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